Tchaikovsky had a patron who gave him enough money to quit his job and become a full-time composer, on the condition that they never meet in person.

Tchaikovsky: Conflicted, Neurotic, Brilliant

The first Russian to achieve international renown as a composer, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky is also often considered the most Romantic of composers. He was also a deeply tormented and sensitive soul.

By California Symphony

If Tchaikovsky felt it, it found a way into his music.”—Prof Robert Greenberg

Growing Up Tchaikovsky

Born May 7, 1840 in Kamsko-Votkinsk in Russia, Tchaikovsky was a deeply sensitive and emotional child who exceled in foreign languages and music from an early age. In an era when musicians were looked down on and considered in the same social class as peasants in Russia, the idea of a career in music was not an option, and so Tchaikovsky was sent away to boarding school to train for a respectable position in … Continue Reading (4 minute read)

10 thoughts on “Tchaikovsky had a patron who gave him enough money to quit his job and become a full-time composer, on the condition that they never meet in person.”

  1. twiggez-vous

    The Wiki page on the patron, [Nadezhda von Meck](, is good read for an insight into her personality, beliefs, and habits. The section on her patronship of Tchaikovsky is interesting too. They exchanged more than 1,200 deeply personal letters, and although she stipulated that she never wanted to meet as a condition of her patronage (with the socially awkward Tchaikovsky more than happy to comply), they did meet once, by accident:

    > The two did meet each other on one occasion, purely by chance, in August 1879, while Tchaikovsky was staying at the Meck estate at Simaki. He had gone for his daily walk in the forest somewhat earlier than usual, unaware that she was late for her daily drive through that same area with the rest of her family. As a result, they came face to face for a few moments; he tipped his hat politely, she was nonplussed, but no words were spoken. He wrote to her the same evening to apologise for the inadvertent breach of their arrangement. She responded, saying there was nothing to apologise for, and **she even invited him to visit her home to see her new paintings, but at a time when she would be away**.

    All in all, she seems like a hyper-sensitive introvert’s wet dream – regular money installments, with maximum avoidance of meeting socially.

  2. DontCallMePal

    His mum was the greatest

  3. atg115reddit

    I believe it was tchaikovsky from the future

  4. xero_art

    Tchaikovsky was married but rumored to be(and most likely was) homosexual so the marriage didn’t last long. His benefactor felt she would fall in love with him, having been widowed after a loveless marriage herself. But she loved his music and respected his lifestyle choice enough to not tempt herself. She was satisfied with the patron relationship and didn’t want to risk it.

    It’s actually kind of beautiful and many of their correspondence remains. Iirc, he lived on her estate for at least a few years yet they still never met.

  5. rhb4n8

    I’d love to be this kind of philanthropist

  6. Panda_Kabob

    His Patrons name? James Moriarty!

  7. BrokenEye3

    And did this mysterious benefactor turn out to have been the real evil mastermind all along? They always do, you know.

  8. JavaTheWitch

    Bro my man got sugar daddies he didn’t know he got mad game

  9. Steadfast_Truth

    Never meet your heroes.

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